Everything you need to know about the ‘boy in the box’

By THP Team


Police of Philadelphia found corpse of a young boy dumped in a baby bassinet cardboard box on Feb 25, 1957.


The police investigated the matter after Frederick Benosis, a college student reported that the cadaver of a boy of around the age of 4-6 years was lying wrapped in a tattered flannel blanket outside the country road. Though no one knows the identity of the boy yet, there are scores of theories behind the murder of this child.


The boy was found in a brutal state and his body was covered with bruises. The forensic reports suggested that he must have been drowned in water around the time of his death as his palms and feet were extremely wrinkled. He also suffered multiple head blows and had puked right before dying. The reports also revealed that his hair was cut either after or at the time of his death.


For years, the authorities have been trying hard to find the real reason behind the boy’s death but no stern proof is yet discovered. Despite of this, various theories have been put forward to solve the mystery. Some of which are

  • He was brought to the city as a sex slave
  • He was raised in a foster home and fortuitously died there
  • He may have drowned
  • He died of severe head blows
  • He was a refugee in Philadelphia
  • He was son of a poor carnival worker

And the list is long but none of these provide evidence, strong enough to be believed.


When no one came to claim the child, the team of detectives finally arranged his funeral and in a potter’s field and buried him under a stone marker, “Heavenly Father, Bless this Unknown Boy”.


But after his exhumation in 1998 for medical purposes, he was reburied in Philadelphia’s Ivy Hill Cemetery.





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